Sandvik introduces autonomous concept and underground loader

September 30, 2020

During its Innovation in Mining Virtual Event, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology introduced its future vision and concept for autonomous mining equipment as well as the world’s first 18 t (20 st) battery loader.

The first-hand glimpse of the next generation of intelligent technologies was shown to the world during a live reveal and demonstration at the Innovation in Mining Virtual Event, hosted by Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.

The fully working and autonomous AutoMine Concept vehicle is based on the latest technologies and equipped with completely new sensing capabilities and artificial intelligence to enhance mining operations. The AutoMine Concept perceives its surroundings and environment in 3D and reacts to it in real-time. These technologies allow vehicles to adapt and plan their own routes, and to find the most suitable paths even in continuously changing environments. The obstacle detection, collision avoidance and 3D online mapping capabilities improve adaptability and increase flexibility.

“The AutoMine Concept is unique, because it has been designed ground-up for autonomous use. It is the world’s first fully autonomous underground mining machine built specifically for automation,” said Riku Pulli, Vice President, Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “This technology raises ease-of-use, effectiveness of asset utilization and adaptability to a new level, resulting in higher productivity. These technologies will truly change the face and pace of autonomous mining.”

This game-changing platform is a foundation for using the AutoMine technology in various equipment types and can be applied to any vehicle. The AutoMine Concept vehicle also has a completely new industrial design without a cabin, and with built-in components for high reliability and productivity. This autonomy platform allows for equipment design that is optimized for its primary production tasks without compromises. Furthermore, being fully battery-electric, it drives sustainability in mining without carbon emissions.

The new technologies showcased in the AutoMine Concept will lead the way for the future of the existing, world-leading AutoMine product.

Sandvik also launched the LH518B – the world’s first 18-t (20-st) battery powered loader.

The brand new vehicle design was the result of a collaboration between the company and BEV specialists Artisan – which Sandvik acquired in early 2019. Before the LH518, the highest payload battery loader the company offered was the Artisan A10 – a 10-t (11-st) loader Artisan developed before being acquired by Sandvik.

The LH518B has been designed around the loader’s Artisan battery system and electric driveline to best utilize the possibilities that the technology brings. The entire machine was redesigned. Thanks to the AutoSwap feature, changing the loader battery does not require any cranes of forklifts. The redesigned machine can fit in a 4.5 x 4.5 m tunnel and carry an 18-t (20-st) load.

The LH518B features independent front and rear drivetrains, allowing high payload capacity while keeping a low overall height.
Currently, Sandkik is expanding the BEV loader and truck offerings as it prepares to enter new market areas, which will happen in phases and model by model.


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